I am sometimes asked as to why I call my photography pricing an investment. Especially from other photographers. This subject came up on a forum and one participant stated “I just want pictures. I’m not updating my financial portfolio”. Now that was an interesting comment and really illustrates exactly why I consider professional photographs an investment.
Meriam-Webster defines “invest” as – “to make use of for future benefits or advantages” also “to involve or engage especially emotionally”
The Oxford dictionary defines “investment” as.’ “A thing that is worth buying because it may be profitable or useful in the future.”
When you hire a professional photographer, you are doing so with the intention of documenting your wedding your family or your high school senior for posterity. You are hiring a photographer so that you look your best for this documentation since, again, it is for posterity. You are making an effort, spending time and money for this. Is that not an investment? Are the pictures “to make use for future benefits”? Are they “a thing worth buying because it may be…useful in the future”? I certainly believe so.
Secondly, an “investment” is something that, hopefully, increases in value over time. If you have a picture of your wedding or your senior year, do those images increase or decrease in value over time? If you have a photograph of a parent or grandparent, will it be more valuable or less valuable in 20-30 years?
I believe the answer to all of these questions is yes. Your wedding day is one day. The moments that are captured and the images that are created will become invaluable over time. Especially when the loved ones in those pictures are no longer around. Your senior year in high school is a unique period in your life. Those images will only increase in value as you grow older and look back on your high school days. Your family changes as time goes by. You will want to remember your children as they were at certain periods in their lives. Are these photographs more valuable or less in the future after they have grown into adulthood? These photographs are an investment that grow more valuable over time so that certainly constitutes an investment.
Knowing that your pictures are an investment, the next thing to ask yourself is at what level of quality do you want this pictures? Will mediocre do? That is a question that is asked when you are arranging the photo session and determining your budget (and a subject for another blog post). But remember, when you are deciding on a budget for your pictures, they are an investment. And one with a 100% guarantee on a future return. And that is why I call my photography pricing an investment.